How Much Time Should You Give a Prospect to Make a Decision?

How Much Time Should You Give a Prospect to Make a Decision?
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What To Do When a Buyer Puts You Off?
When you’re trying to get buyers to switch from another product or solution to your product or solution, and they say, “I need to think about it,” how much time should you give a prospect to make a decision?

Which approach with a sales prospect is most effective?

  1. Try to get them to make a decision immediately
  2. Give them as much time as they need
  3. Call them back in a day or two to remind them of all the benefits of your product

What The Research Says
According to a recent study by Van de Ven published in Psychological Science, when people are forced to make a decision immediately, they’re more likely to stick with the status quo. But when people have time to think it over, the odds shift in favor of change. Buyers think of all the problems with their current situation, making you more likely to win the sale.

The Sales Pitfall to Avoid
In this situation, the tendency for business sales training participants is to immediately fear they’re going to lose a sale on which they may have invested a lot of time. And that tendency is borne out by experience – oftentimes buyers who say they need to sleep on it, or think about it, or run it past someone are in fact getting cold feet and just don’t want to admit it. But the research hammers home the point that if you try to hustle buyers up at this stage, you’re reducing your chances of success.

Action Steps to Help Prospect to Make a Decision
Our sales microlearning library recommends 3 tips to help a prospect to make a decision:

  1. Fill The Pipeline with Quality Not Quantity
    Make sure your sales pipeline is substantial enough with qualified opportunities that you can afford to wait a few days for any one prospect to make up his/her mind.
  2. Do Not Chase Every Opportunity; Focus Exclusively On Target Clients
    Ideal target clients appreciate your unique value proposition. Do not waste your time with clients who do not value what sets you apart from the pack.
  3. Beef Up Your Qualification Process
    Ensure that your sales qualifying techniques weed out as many nonbuyers as possible before you reach the decision phase. The goal is to only focus on deals that you should win.

The Bottom Line
While it can be frustrating when prospects go dark, too many sales people push or try to create a false sense of urgency to try to close the deal. That is a mistake.

To learn more about how to effectively qualify sales prospects, download 30 Effective Sales Questions More Important than Budget

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